Autosomal DNA tests utilize DNA from the 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes. Autosomal DNA is inherited from both parents. Therefore, an autosomal DNA test may be taken by either a male or a female.
The Family Finder test is designed to trace all of your ancestral lines (5 generations and beyond) using your autosomal DNA. It will confidently identify relationships for five generations. Family Finder tests thousands of data points on your 22 autosomal chromosomes. Your results are then compared to others in the Family Finder database. The Family Finder software detects linked blocks (segments) of DNA that indicate a common ancestor. The number and size of these segments is used to determine how recently any two people are related.
The strengths of the Family Finder test are that it may be used with equal success by both men and women and its ability to find connections on any of your family lines. The challenge is determining which branch of your family tree you share with your cousin. This can be accomplished with traditional genealogical records and by utilizing other types of DNA tests.
The Family Finder test also includes the FREE myOrigins tool. The myOrigins analysis provides informative analysis matching to world population groups.
The preferred test for surname studies is the Y-Chromosome test, which only men can do as this chromosome is only passed from father to son, however, the autosomal test can be used very effectively to confirm kinship, locate cousins, etc., and often this allows a participant to use a male relative's Y chromosome results in a family research project.